Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Power and Joy of Surrender

This afternoon I finished reading Paulo Coelho’s novel - The Zahir, and am taking time to reflect on some of the outstanding insights he has in his interesting, and at times almost rebellious reflection of his personal journey of love and life. This is one of my favorite passages from this book:

When I had nothing more to lose, I was given everything. When I ceased to be who I am, I found myself. When I experienced humiliation and yet kept on walking, I understood that I was free to choose my destiny.

In the book, Coelho’s main character, a famous author, discovers a major pathway that would enable him to live freely in the present by re-visiting and surrendering attachment to his past by telling old stories that he felt had not been fully told or understood. Eventually this would lead to him no longer having the need to tell his stories anymore.

This morning, long aware of the healing power of storytelling, I decided to take advantage of my mother visiting me, and once again told her a story of a time in the past that troubled me greatly, so I could hear it again myself and watch myself telling it. As I observed my mother’s reaction to my story, I soon realized that she and I shared the same ‘gullible’ and over-trusting, face-value nature that has got us both into trouble many times. It soon became apparent that I was carrying a pattern handed down to me by my mother and, without any need to change or judge it, I was able to accept that I had taken on this trait from a very young age, and that I could now choose to let it go at a deeper level. This has been quite a journey for me already as I have had to teach myself to look deeper into what presents itself to me in this world. I have learned to journey beyond apparent perceptions of reality. For example, while I respect statistics and am happy to be guided by them, I will look further into who created them and why they were researched (maybe to support a marketing campaign?) before I make a decision about them.

When I made this connection between my mother’s naïve nature and my own instantly felt an energy release, like a heavy, ancestral cloak had been taken off my shoulders. However, the real transformation came about from setting boundaries around my story telling. At the end of my sharing my story, I watched my mother as she began to take what I had said at face value, wrongly assuming that my honest sharing of my circumstance meant that I was asking for her help, and she slipped into her old habit of worry and taking responsibility for my circumstances; a pattern that I also carry around my three adult sons. Determined to change this destructive behavior that has prevented me from speaking my truth my whole life in case I burdened those I love, I was able to ask my mother to make me a promise. I asked her to assure me that when she left my company, every time she found herself reflecting on my story, she would stop herself from worrying. Lovingly, I reminded her of what a powerful manifestor she is and how easily she attracts her fears to her. I also reminded her that if she used this power in a positive way she could really help me to break some patterns in my life that seem to be out of my control. My mother agreed that she would map her negative thoughts over with a memory of me holding a meditation circle that she had attended the night before I shared my story. In that environment, she had seen me confident and in my power, and I wanted her to think of me in that way always. She agreed to replace her usual thoughts of concern with the following affirmation – I believe in my daughter, and trust in her journey, and know that all is well.

My part in this was to watch my old pattern of feeling guilty and fearful after speaking my truth, and to give myself permission to share my stories without shame, and from a place of power rather than as a victim. At the same time, I was fully aware that in the telling of my story in a really conscious, mindful way, with a witness who is aware of my history and who could completely understand and validated my experience, I found that I was no longer attached to it. It was a marvelous experience, and I can already feel great healing occurring, both for my mother and me. We are both feeling the energetic shift, and my mother is no longer feeling over burdened and responsible for my life. She has set me free, and yes, I have set myself free by asking for what I want. It is a wonderful break through for us both.

As I write this, I am more aware than ever how blessed I am to experience my healing face to face with my mother. Over the years, we have had many ‘difficult’ conversations, and it is in our joint courage and determination to heal and let go of past wounds that we have developed a powerful love between us; a love I have searched for all of my life. In this journey with my mother, I have healed and re-birthed the sacred feminine within me, and I have discovered, or re-discovered, that I am truly lovable after all.

While my mother is attempting to let go of worry for her family, I am also continuing to walk my talk in that department. Recently one of my sons moved interstate, (he had been living an hour away), and I have to say it was a difficult few days for me. We have a great relationship and I will really miss him. After his rather sudden and unexpected departure, I felt heaviness in my heart that lingered, and was aware that my son would feel my feelings too on an energetic level. I took my sorrow to the bush, as I have learned long ago that nature heals what ever I offer her so beautifully. The mountain had told me to let go of my sorrow to him, through a stone or tree, and he would transform the energy for me. As I walked around my mountain, I eventually found the perfect stone and kneeled down and placed my hands on it. As I placed my hands on the stone I felt my heart finally letting go, and I imagined my son happy in his new home with his partner. Stepping back from my own feelings, I began to feel the excitement of his journey and the wonderful opportunities he had ahead of him. It also became very clear that his older brother was going to be thrilled to have him nearby after twelve years of living apart; they have always been very close. As my heart began to fill with joy and my mind settled into a place of peace and acceptance, a butterfly flew toward me. Standing now, I stepped out on to the path feeling like a different person, and became aware of a small brown snake crossing the path in front of me. It was such confirmation to have a butterfly (transformation) and snake (letting go of fear of what may never happen, and transmutation of energy and form) supporting me in that moment.

Two weeks passed and my son flew home to attend a course, staying with me for three wonderful days. We had a chance to say goodbye properly, and to celebrate his success and journey ahead. Early one morning I invited him to take a bush walk with me to the ‘wishing well’ in a creek bed in a nearby mountain. As we walked on the high path toward the creek, his phone rang. It was his older brother, and he had a cheery conversation with him while I looked on, feeling so happy as I listened to my sons talking affectionately together. All of a sudden, my son stopped talking and took my hand and pointed at a brown snake, exactly like the one I had seen two weeks earlier, two feet away on our path. He said goodbye quickly to his brother, and told me to be careful. Smiling, I shared my story of the earlier encounter with a snake with him. I also told him about the messages that snake energy brings, and he thought they were wonderful, vowing to rethink his attitude around fearing what may never happen.

Letting go of worry and trusting your loved ones will find their own way is the greatest gift you can give anyone. Not only will their journey be lighter and easier without the burden of your fear, they will feel your love rather than your pain and this will energize rather than drain them. When you suffer, others close to you suffer with you. When you create love and light, they will be illuminated by your gift of trust in them and their path ahead. When it boils down to it, suffering is a choice – you can choose to suffer through your experience, or you can choose to observe and validate your experience from a place of self-understanding and love, before releasing any heavy energy created around your experience from a place of trust and serenity. It is up to each one of us which path we choose - the path of powerlessness, or the path of self-empowerment.

Thank you for joining me here, and I would love to hear your feedback any time you feel to share it. Blessings to you on your path of ‘waking up’ to your true nature. May your journey ahead be filled with magic, beauty and light.



  1. The Power and Joy of Surrender - I loved writing this piece - it came to me after a recent visit by my lovely mother - I love how we are growing closer each time we meet and making up for years of misunderstanding and pain. I love our open, honest relationship and how she models for me how to grow old with dignity and grace.

  2. Loveley Heather I enjoyed reding it as it came formthe heart and with honesty.

    Wishing you abundant health and happyness
    Barbara Bourke xxx

  3. Thank you Barbara - yes I write from the heart - thank you for your wishes x

  4. A powerful sharing and healing experience Heather, one which I resonate with in terms of relationship to my own mother. The Zahir seems to have provided a map for transformation. Fabulous..xx Lisa

  5. Thank you Lisa - good to connect here with you and to explore further the meaning of resonance - a beautiful word - I think of all the unconscious connections we make when we resonate with another - and how many universal symbols exist that trigger us into share experience. Thank you for taking the time to consciously connect with me - and others here.